In a Stirling radioisotope system, heat must continually be removed from the GPHS modules, to maintain the GPHS modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. Normally, the Stirling convertor provides this cooling. If the Stirling engine stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, but also ending the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) was designed to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling engine. A VCHP turns on with a delta T of 30 C, which is high enough to not risk standard ASRG operation but low enough to save most heater head life. This VCHP has a low mass, and low thermal losses for normal operation. In addition to the design, a proof-of-concept NaK VCHP was fabricated and tested. While NaK is normally not used in heat pipes, it has an advantage in that it is liquid at the reservoir operating temperature, while Na or K alone would freeze. The VCHP had two condensers, one simulating the heater head, and the other simulating the radiator. The experiments successfully demonstrated operation with the simulated heater head condenser off and on, while allowing the reservoir temperature to vary over 40 to 120 C, the maximum range expected. In agreement with previous NaK heat pipe tests, the evaporator delta T was roughly 70 C, due to distillation of the NaK in the evaporator.